What if I told you there’s a device that can lower your blood pressure, improve your hand-eye coordination, build strength, and help you relax…and you can buy it at a local store for less than $3.00?
I know what you’re thinking, “That’s impossible.”
But I’m sure you’re wondering what it is. Well get ready, because I think it’s going to surprise you. In fact, you might already have one! It is…
A Tennis Ball.
Amazing, right? A simple tennis ball can do all that, and I’m going to tell you how.
Let’s get started. This first Tennis Ball Tip is great for relieving stress, lowering your blood pressure, and building strength. And it came from a very unlikely place.
THE BIG SQUEEZE
Back in the 1970’s, a doctor named Ronald Wiley invented a device to keep F-16 jet fighter pilots from losing consciousness.
It was a hand-grip device. And they discovered an interesting side-effect: after prolonged use, the pilots’ resting blood pressure was lower.
The device is now available to people with high blood pressure, and according to the Harvard Heart Letter, “It has been shown to lower blood pressure as much as a first-line anti-hypertension drug.” However, you can get similar results just by squeezing a tennis ball.
Pick up the tennis ball, wrapping your fingers around the ball.
Squeeze the ball and hold the squeeze for at least 5 seconds. Relax your grip for 2 seconds, and repeat 10 times.
Rest 5 seconds and do 10 more repetitions with the same hand.
Repeat the sequence using your other hand.
That’s it. Along with lowering your blood pressure, it’s a great stress reliever AND it builds strength in your forearm and grip.
[DR. B’s TIP: If the ball is too hard to squeeze, poke a hole in it.]
This one seems simple, but it really improves your hand-eye coordination and quickens your reflexes. This exercise is used by baseball and football players, as well as other athletes.
Stand 4 to 5 feet from a wall. Toss the ball against the wall with your right hand, and catch it with your right hand.
Repeat 10 times.
Repeat the entire sequence with your left hand.
As you practice, change the spot you toss the ball – go lower, higher – and vary the speed. For a bigger challenge, cover one eye to throw off your depth perception.
[DR. B’s TIP: You can even do this at your desk. I’ve been doing it for years…it helps me think!]
This next Tennis Ball Tip will help stimulate muscle tissue, loosen knots, and help you relax.
Lie flat on your back and put the tennis ball under your low back. Close your eyes and let your body sink down on the ball.
Roll gently on the ball, massaging your low back. Slowly roll the ball higher up your back. Keep going until the ball is between your shoulders.
Repeat until you’re completely relaxed.
For an even better effect, use two tennis balls side by side.
[DR. B’s TIP: This is an exercise you can do with your spouse. Have them lie on their stomach, then use the tennis ball to give them the best back rub ever.]
And don’t forget, you can also play tennis! You get the benefits of great exercise, the fun of playing a game, and it gets you out with other people.
One last tip – and this one is my favorite – take your tennis ball, get a dog, and play “fetch.” There’s nothing better!
I’d love for you to try these Tennis Ball Tips… then, leave a comment below and let me know how they worked for you. And if you have any other tips, exercises or games to play with a tennis ball, let me know.